N. Africa, Mideast protests: Egypt's new prime minister says he is 'of the people'
Anti-government protesters pray Friday in Benghazi, Libya, during a call to arms to join the fight against the government forces of President Muammar Gaddafi.
March 4th, 2011
10:51 PM ET

N. Africa, Mideast protests: Egypt's new prime minister says he is 'of the people'

Across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN's reporters and iReporters are covering protests, many of them inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled those countries' longtime rulers. Check out our interactive map explaining the roots of the unrest in each country and full coverage of the situation in Libya. Have a story to tell from the scene? Click here to send an iReport. CNN's Fareed Zakaria breaks down what the movements toward democracy mean.

Developments on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa:

[LIBYA 9:06 p.m. ET, 4:06 a.m. local] Egypt's new prime minister, Essam Sharaf, appeared before thousands of protesters at Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday, telling them he is "of the people" and would resign if he failed to meet their demands. Sharaf, Egypt's former transportation minister, was sworn in Friday after the resignation of Ahmed Shafik, the last prime minister appointed by Hosni Mubarak.

[LIBYA 6:00 p.m. ET, 1:00 a.m. local] The United Nations said Friday it is studying Libya's request to install a more loyal diplomat as its ambassador. A letter from Libya's government asked that former Foreign Minister Ali Abdussalam Treki be approved as its envoy. Treki, who recently served as the president of the U.N. General Assembly, would replace Mohamed Shalgham as ambassador in New York.

[LIBYA 2:16 p.m. ET, 9:16 p.m. local] Libyan government spokesman Majid al-Dursi told CNN that "Zawiya has been captured, Zawiya has been liberated."

Battalions of forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi attacked protesters with mortars and machine guns as they were demonstrating in the city's Martyrs Square, eyewitnesses said. The troops also assaulted an ambulance and killed people who fell wounded.

"Civilians were killed but we can not say how many. We buried nine people so far," the witness said. "The attack was indescribable. Direct gunfire was opened on people."

[SAUDI ARABIA, 12:04 p.m. ET, 8:04 p.m. local] A second protest unfolded in Riyadh after Friday prayer, according to two Saudi activists who requested they not be identified because of concerns for their safety.

As many as 40 anti-government demonstrators gathered outside Al-Rajhi Mosque for a short protest. At least one man involved in organizing the protest was arrested, the activists said.

The activists said the protesters attracted a crowd of worshipers leaving the mosque. Some of the protesters carried signs showing a map of Saudi Arabia that did not contain the words "Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," an affront to the Saudi royal family.

[LIBYA, 11:56 a.m. ET, 6:56 p.m. local] A witness said the Friday attack in Zawiya was an "indescribable" and deadly assault. The witness said forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi attacked peaceful protesters in Zawiya with mortars and machine guns.

[LIBYA, 11:32 a.m. ET, 6:32 p.m. local] A C-130 cargo plane labeled with a U.S. flag landed in Tunisia, Libya, on Friday, CNN has learned.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated Friday that two C-130 planes were en route to Tunisia to help with the humanitarian crisis in Libya.

[LIBYA, 11:02 a.m. ET, 6:02 p.m. local] At least 15 people have been killed and 200 wounded in the Libyan city of Zawiya, according to a doctor, who said "there is a river of blood" at the hospital where the injured are being treated.

Earlier, a report from Libyan State TV said that people in Zawiya, west of Tripoli, and "their public leadership have secured and took control over the city from the 'armed terrorist elements.'"

The doctor said wounded people started arriving at the hospital Friday morning, and most of the injuries are from gunshots.

Many of the injuries are critical, with wounds in the head and chest, the doctor said. The hospital is running out of medical supplies and "the situation is very bad," the doctor said.

[LIBYA, 7:47 a.m. ET, 2:47 p.m. local] Pro-Gadhafi forces have clashed with opposition fighters in Ras Lanuf, opposition sources in eastern Libya told CNN Friday.

[SAUDI ARABIA, 6:36 a.m. ET, 2:36 p.m. local] Demonstrators protested in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province on Friday to demand the release of Shiite prisoners they feel are being held unjustly.

An outspoken Shiite prayer leader who demonstrators say was arrested last Friday was a focal point of the "day of rage" protest, said Ibrahim Al-Mugaiteeb, president of the Human Rights First Society.

Sheikh Tawfeeq Al-Amer was arrested Friday after a sermon stating that Saudi Arabia should become a constitutional monarchy, Al-Mugaiteeb said.

[YEMEN, 6:26 a.m. ET, 2:26 p.m. local] Security forces opened fire on protesters on the northern Yemeni city of Harf Sufyan Friday, killing two people and injuring nine others.

[IRAQ, 6:10 a.m. ET, 2:10 p.m. local] Authorities imposed curfews and limited access to city centers across Iraq as thousands of protesters demanded economic progress and an end to corruption, police said. Demonstrators were reported to be gathering in Baghdad, Basra, Nineveh, Anbar and Salaheddin.

The developments follow weeks of demonstrations across the country by protesters angry about unemployment, poor basic services, corruption and a lack of freedom. At least 13 people died in protests on February 25.

[LIBYA, 4:43 a.m. ET, 11:43 a.m. local] The eastern Libyan town of al-Brega was calm early Friday, witnesses said, a day after forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi launched airstrikes on the oil port in an effort to reclaim it from the opposition.

[LIBYA, 1:59 a.m. ET, 8:59 a.m. local]
Venezuela's president says embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was receptive to the idea of an international commission coming to the North African country when the two heads of state spoke this week.

"I consulted with him. I asked him if he was willing to accept a commission of countries," Chavez said in remarks broadcast on state-run VTV Thursday night.

"And he told me, 'Look, Chavez, not only of countries; I hope the whole United Nations come here to see the reality of what's happening before they start condemning the Libyan government or the Libyan people, before they start thinking as they are now, and preparing to invade Libya."

[LIBYA, 11:03 p.m. ET, 6:03 a.m. local]
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Thursday that embattled Libyan  leader Moammar Gadhafi agreed with Chavez's proposal to send a goodwill commission to Libya when the two leaders spoke Tuesday.

In remarks broadcast on state-run VTV, Chavez did not specify whether such a commission would actually go to Libya.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Africa • Bahrain • Egypt • Libya • Tunisia • World • Yemen
soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. Cesar

    I say to the British and the U.S., plan a strategy to go into Libya without looking so aggressive. Maybe seem as if you're going in for humanitarian aide, when you really want to establish a political agenda there. This would be best. I am the true Cesar here.

    March 5, 2011 at 6:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      No you're not,I am and you can quit posting your stupid jokes under my name. The U.S. and Britain has no right to be there whatsoever and they should get both the stinking C.I.A. and the British M-6 out of there,a.s.a.p.!!!

      March 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cesar

    I'm going swimming.

    March 5, 2011 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. RUFFNUTT

    I HATE CLONERS... seems like whenever i'm gone for 3 days the copynamer... can't resist posting under my name.. which is lame...

    March 5, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  4. L64

    I'm just tired of the pame people creating namd after name and causing problems. I come here for chat about the events, not children's playtime. This is not the venue for that. Maybe everyone should try ignoring them. They only want an audience.

    March 5, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      Thank you,L64. That you got right!

      March 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. 1608

    When you call someone and you get no answer do you hang up and call again, I think not you wait.

    So when someone writes under your name don't answer and he will do away.

    Well one would think he would. But maybe he/she has no life.

    March 5, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. L64

    Same, not pame.

    March 5, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. L64

    Every response plays their game. What most don't realize is every response drags you down to their level.

    March 5, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      That's because the Tea Partiers want to spread their message of hate any way they can! Hence,the profanity!!!

      March 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. 1608

    U got that right l64

    March 5, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. angryman

    Listen all of you, I'm the fukkkin angryman, don't post on this blog.

    March 5, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Unless they're a Tea Partier like you,you mean! You Tea Partiers have no monopoly here so stay angry!!!

      March 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. 1608

    Angryman I have a heineken waiting for you.

    March 5, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mary

    i forgot were i was posting the above video to , u all could at least pretend to like it

    March 5, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Avser Bastian

    OBAMA = STALIN = BUSH…USA = USSR....WHO, WHY, AND HOW RUINED YOU…FROM 911 TO AUSTRALIAN FLOODS – ARIZONA SHOOTING – WIKILEAKS is CIA – ESKIMO SARAH PALIN'S "BRIDGE TO NOWHERE" - LEARN ABOUT REAL HUMAN FLASH EATING MACHINE OR SO CALLED ECONOMY – BREAST FEEDING INSANITY - CIVIL RIOTS IN ARAB COUNTRIES – NEWS/MEDIA or simply CENSORSHIP AND BIG FAT WORLD OF LIES !!??? – NEW WORLD ORDER POLITICAL PARTIES(REP = DEM all the same) http://avsecbostjan.wordpress.com/ or http://avsecbostjan.blogspot.com/

    OBAMA = STALIN = BUSH…USA = USSR....WHO, WHY, AND HOW RUINED YOU…FROM 911 TO AUSTRALIAN FLOODS – ARIZONA SHOOTING – WIKILEAKS is CIA – ESKIMO SARAH PALIN'S "BRIDGE TO NOWHERE" - LEARN ABOUT REAL HUMAN FLASH EATING MACHINE OR SO CALLED ECONOMY – BREAST FEEDING INSANITY - CIVIL RIOTS IN ARAB COUNTRIES – NEWS/MEDIA or simply CENSORSHIP AND BIG FAT WORLD OF LIES !!??? – NEW WORLD ORDER POLITICAL PARTIES(REP = DEM all the same) http://avsecbostjan.wordpress.com/ or http://avsecbostjan.blogspot.com/

    March 5, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Cesar

    Frank you're an ashol

    March 5, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      And you're a Tea Partier Phunnie boy,blogging under Cesar's name. Your profanity gives you away!

      March 5, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Frank

    Tell me Frank, when you say that I'm a Tea Partier is that suppose to be an insult?

    March 5, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Let's just say that it's no compliment. At least,it shouldn't be to be called one of those right-wing,foul-speaking,anti-intellectual Tea Partiers!!!

      March 6, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mary

    you i just dont know about those ppl never heard them make a sensible comment i dont get them and that's not an insult

    March 5, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Gee Mary,exactly where have you been for last two years? Not to have heard of Sarah Palin or the Tea Partiers is really unbelievable! If you're that ignorant,then why do you post here???

      March 6, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
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